Independance Day in St Augustine
This annual St. Augustine event is an awesome display of patriotism and with even deeper meaning when you know that St. Augustine was home to American Patriots as prisoners of war under the British. The Revolutionary War era prisoners included three men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Imagine celebrating the independence of our nation in the nation’s oldest city. To History lovers that alone is enough to make you pause in awe of the long history of St. Augustine and the nation’s oldest city’s role in the founding of the United States of America. To best view the annual Independence Day celebration and fireworks display a location near the Bridge of Lions or Castillo de San Marcos is optimal, but not necessary. A more relaxed viewing of the fireworks can be had at the Anastasia State Park beach area.
Prisoners of War in St. Augustine During the American Revolution
From the onset of the American Revolution in 1775 the British Crown Colony in East Florida was a loyalist bastion. In it’s capital, St. Augustine, the British lodges as prisoners many American Patriots and thier French allies. Most of these prisoners were given the liberty of the town, but some were held in Castillo de San Marcos. A few captives rented quarters, but most of the men were housed in the unfinished State House which stood near this spot. By the end of 1780, these prisoners included three signers of the Declaration of Independence — Thomas Heyward, Jr; Arthur Middleton, and Edwar Rutledge. On July 4, 1781 the Patriot captives celebrated Independence Day.” – Historical marker on King Street near the Bridge of Lions.